From Temperance to Microbrews

MAC 100 Stories: A Centennial Exhibition - Story 8

Temperance activist Carrie Nation of Kansas was famous for smashing saloons with a hatchet in the days before Prohibition. Before Nation's 1910 visit to Spokane, the mayor ordered saloon-goers to leave town. Excess consumption and its impact on family life spurred the temperance campaign, and Washington state closed its saloons on December 31, 1915, four years before the 18th Amendment banned alcohol nationwide. Because of its proximity to Canada, the Inland Northwest became home to rum-runners, bootleggers and moonshiners, who supplied the demand for liquor. Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and today the Inland Northwest mirrors a national trend in local wine, beer and distillery production.

MAC 100 Stories: A Centennial Exhibition is told on the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture campus in Spokane's Browne's Addition, with additional highlights at 15 sites in Spokane and eastern Washington. The exhibit experience (February 22, 2014 - January 2016) weaves stories and programs about Inland Northwest people, places and events by capitalizing on the MAC's extraordinary collection. www.northwestmuseum.org

Spokane Historical presents 15 regional and city tours in partnership with the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture and its 100 Stories exhibition.

Images

Drinking Culture

Drinking Culture

Early twentieth century Spokane was a town filled with working men. The associated drinking culture fueled Spokane's participation in a nationwide temperance movement. Image L95-97.133 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture View File Details Page

Orange Bower Bar, c. 1915

Orange Bower Bar, c. 1915

As Spokane expanded and established itself as a premier Inland Northwest destination, high end bars such as the Davenport Hotel's Orange Bower Bar, opened to serve the needs of the wealthy men in town on business. Image L84-207.4.78 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture View File Details Page

Schade Brewing Crew, c. 1907

Schade Brewing Crew, c. 1907

The Schade Brewery was one of the area's main breweries until Prohibition shut it down. The building served as a soup kitchen during the Great Depression and housed the Golden Age Brewery in the 1940s. Image L86-340.2 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture View File Details Page

Confiscated Stills, 1929

Confiscated Stills, 1929

Confiscation of alcohol stills and related items was a major Prohibition enforcement program. In this image, confiscated stills are headed to the county courthouse for assessment before being destroyed. Image L87-1.39509-29 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture View File Details Page

Taking Stock, Spokane Hotel, 1916

Taking Stock, Spokane Hotel, 1916

On the eve of Spokane's prohibition (starting January 1, 1916) hotels hosted the biggest New Year's celebrations the city had ever seen. Even after that, hotels still had a surplus of alcohol and often sold it illegally. This image of a city official taking stock of contraband liquor found at the Spokane Hotel was one of the biggest early busts. Image L93-18.54 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. View File Details Page

Durkin's Liquor Store

Durkin's Liquor Store

Jimmy Durkin was a prominent seller of liquor, beer and wine before Spokane's 1916 prohibition. Durkin let a Baptist minister and temperance leader design the window displays at his flagship store, seen in this postcard. These displays, that chronicled the downward spiral of a man and his worsening drinking habits, did not deter business as Durkin had three stores in the area. Image L93-66.28 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. View File Details Page

Post-Prohibition Advertising

Post-Prohibition Advertising

After prohibition ended, Spokane experienced a boom in the flow of alcoholic beverages. This Spokane store advertises three pounds of Budweiser beer for less than half a dollar. Image L87-1.1552-32 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. View File Details Page

Confiscated Stills

Confiscated Stills

A local sheriff poses with confiscated stills. Image L87-1.28849-25 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture View File Details Page

Trent Alley

Trent Alley

Trent Alley, on the east side of Spokane's downtown, was rife with places to gamble, drink and play pool. During Prohibition this area was host to numerous speakeasies, frequently raided by police. Image L2003-11.28 courtesy of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

“From Temperance to Microbrews,” Spokane Historical, accessed June 24, 2017, http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/404.
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